North Kingsley, a collaboration between System of a Down bassist Shavo Odadjian, producer Saro Paparian and rapper Ray Hawthorne, is releasing their second EP, Vol. 2, on December 4. It’s the follow-up to their debut EP Vol. 1, which came out in August this year.
Vol. 1 came out one song at a time for three songs total, “Die for the Pic,” “Like That?” and “Shotguns.” They’re a hip hop project that alternates between rap rock and typical electronic production. The songs they’ve released so far have been mainly about social and political critiques.
It’s safe to guess that Vol. 2 will cover similar subjects. The first teaser for Vol. 2 was a short clip posted to Instagram in November showing masks of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton while Hawthorne raps a bar over a spoken announcement from a voice saying, “Expect delays, searches of personal property and restricted access to public buildings.” The next teaser featured similar masks and the same voice recording without Hawthorne’s rapping.
A third teaser used a different tone but also seems to have an opinion on the seriousness of triggers. Hawthorne kicks open a door wearing a ‘60s Batman costume, says what sounds like “Where’s the trigger?” to Odadjian, dressed as Robin, who replies “Holy dill-hole Batman, what a pickle!” Then a costume-free Paparian says “Why do you guys always do this?”
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Two more teasers have used an instrumental sound clip with a prominent Odadjian bass part, revealed the December 4 release date and the song titles, “False Idols,” “Rifle In Thought” and “Shadow Box.” Another clip in the style of an infomercial advertises a 15 percent discount on the EP for pre-saving it.
Early in November, System of a Down came back with their first new singles in 15 years, “Protect the Land” backed with “Genocide Humanoidz.” It was released to raise awareness and support for the Artsakh people affected by the ongoing Nagorno-Karabakh War and ended up raising over $600,000 of relief.
Photo credit: Mauricio Alvarado